Mega-city governments, new administrative provinces overdue: Altaf Shakoor

Karachi: Establishing Megacity governments in Karachi and Lahore, and creation of new administrative provinces have become overdue and the government and position should play their role in meeting these lingering demands of the people of Pakistan, said Pasban Democratic Party President Altaf Shakoor here Sunday.
In a statement, he said that leader of the opposition in National Assembly Mian Shahbaz Sharif has already announced to bring a bill for making the South Punjab province. He said there are demands also to create new provinces of Bahawalpur, Hazara and FATA. He said the Pasban Democratic Party has always supported the demands for new provinces, but these new provinces should be established purely on administrative grounds. He said if the government failed to create more provinces on the administrative basis, people may demand the new provinces on ethnic basis, which would be not a good omen for the country.
Altaf Shakoor said there are two megacities in Pakistan: Karachi and Lahore, but there is no provision for megacity governments in our constitution. He demanded that besides making new administrative provinces, constitutional cover should be given to the megacities so that proper megacity governments could be formed in both Karachi and Lahore. He said the megacities all over the world are run through their own administrations, keeping in view their peculiar issues and problems. He said the megacity Karachi has been neglected for decades, despite the fact that this port city is also the revenue engine of whole Pakistan. He said by making constitutional amendment to pave way for recognizing the megacities, these revenue generations centers could be run even in a better way.
Pasban President said that the provincial and federal rulers have always neglected Karachi which is a grave national tragedy. He said the public transport system in Karachi is left to the mercy of old smoke-emitting minibuses and Chingchi rickshaws which is just disgusting. He said even the half-century old surface rail-based commuting system, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), was systematically damaged by different governments. He said even the sitting governments in Sindh and the Center are not willing to repair and run the KCR. He said if the government improves public transport system in Karachi it could easily double its revenue collection from the megacity. He said labor mobility and production will increase sharply if workers are given an efficient time and cost saving commuting system. He said modern commuting systems are hallmarks of the megacities in whole world and they play a crucial role in improving economies, and the megacity Karachi surely deserves these systems. He said the previous Punjab chief minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif worked hard to give Lahore modern public transport systems, but the provincial rulers of Sindh sadly lacked such vision and leadership to serve their megacity, Karachi.
Altaf Shakoor appealed to the MNAs and Senators of Karachi and Lahore to table a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament at the earliest so that Karachi and Lahore could be given megacity status and modern megacity governments formed in them to run these revenue engines in a better way. He demanded opening public universities and teaching hospitals in Karachi at town-level to facilitate the citizens. He asked to construct the much-awaited Southern Bypass in Karachi to reduce the burden of port-oriented heavy traffic in the city on urgent basis. He also demanded to establish a coastal park from the Mubarak Village to the Gharo Creek on available open stretches of the city beach to improve greenery cover and air quality of the megacity, besides giving its citizens healthy recreational facilities.

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